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Is American Express (AXP) Outperforming Other Finance Stocks This Year?

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For those looking to find strong Finance stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. American Express (AXP - Free Report) is a stock that can certainly grab the attention of many investors, but do its recent returns compare favorably to the sector as a whole? A quick glance at the company's year-to-date performance in comparison to the rest of the Finance sector should help us answer this question.

American Express is one of 854 individual stocks in the Finance sector. Collectively, these companies sit at #13 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different groups, measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the sector to gauge the strength of each group.

The Zacks Rank emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions to find stocks with improving earnings outlooks. This system has a long record of success, and these stocks tend to be on track to beat the market over the next one to three months. American Express is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Over the past three months, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for AXP's full-year earnings has moved 1.4% higher. This shows that analyst sentiment has improved and the company's earnings outlook is stronger.

Based on the latest available data, AXP has gained about 24.2% so far this year. Meanwhile, the Finance sector has returned an average of 3.3% on a year-to-date basis. This means that American Express is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.

Another Finance stock, which has outperformed the sector so far this year, is Banco Macro (BMA - Free Report) . The stock has returned 98.9% year-to-date.

In Banco Macro's case, the consensus EPS estimate for the current year increased 159% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Looking more specifically, American Express belongs to the Financial - Miscellaneous Services industry, a group that includes 72 individual stocks and currently sits at #92 in the Zacks Industry Rank. This group has lost an average of 2% so far this year, so AXP is performing better in this area.

Banco Macro, however, belongs to the Banks - Foreign industry. Currently, this 66-stock industry is ranked #44. The industry has moved +6.5% so far this year.

Going forward, investors interested in Finance stocks should continue to pay close attention to American Express and Banco Macro as they could maintain their solid performance.

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